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Richard Rogers "spitfire" (Flintshire, N Wales)

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The Cowboys [DVD] [1972]
The Cowboys [DVD] [1972]
Dvd ~ John Wayne
Offered by MasterDVD
Price: £7.67

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cowboys become men, 18 Dec 2008
This review is from: The Cowboys [DVD] [1972] (DVD)
'The Cowboys' is a brave film on 2 counts. I'll get to that later!! Mr. Wayne plays a cattle rancher who has been deserted by his handful of men, who have gone to find gold in them there hills. He's now left with a massive herd of cattle he needs to get across 400 miles of unforgiving terrain. The answer to his woes? Hire 11 schoolboys to help him!!

Here's the first brave decision. Base the film around 11 unknown young boys who may or maynot be able to pull off a convincing display. Well the gamble pays off, because these boys put in fine performances. Aided by a grand performance from John Wayne, you get the feeling that a real bond was forged within this group.

Bruce Dern turns up as the psychotic bad guy, who is after the cattle and getting a nice sum of money for him and his cronies. They start to track the cattle drive and cause problems for Wayne and his 'men', Dern turns up the heat with some nasty episodes with the youngsters. As the boys develop along the way, coming to terms with the hardy task they face, an eventual showdown is imminent between Wayne and the cattle thieves.

Its here in the film that another brave decision is made. With three quarters of the film gone, something happens that makes you stop and think 'no, surely not'!! I'll try not to spoil it but this moment could either make or break what so far has been a very enjoyble picture.

I was happy with how the film came to a conclusion from this point. Ok, so it may be a bit 'Hollywood' but I did feel me saying 'get in there'!! All in all then, its a great western tale with fabulous scenery, top notch acting (Bruce Dern is a real evil dude) and a fantastic music score from John Williams (the film starts with an 'Overture' and has an intermission in the middle, like days of yore!!).

Extras include the director's commentary; a film short of how the boys were selected and prepared for their roles and a wonderful reunion feature with the director, Bruce Dern and 2 or 3 of the cast.

The Magnificent Seven Collection [DVD]
The Magnificent Seven Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Yul Brynner
Price: £9.93

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars box of delights, 14 Dec 2008
The Magnificent Seven box set, all four films in their own cases. The other reviews here are pretty much how I feel about this interesting collection. The original being the best, helped by a great cast and music score that would be remembered forever. Added to this DVD is an extra with surviving cast members and is quite interesting and revealing in itself.

'Return...' is a decent enough attempt of a follow up. Yul Bryner is the only original actor to make this film and doesn't quite gel with the other seven. Worth a watch on a rainy afternoon.

'Guns...' sees Chris being played by George Kennedy, who makes the character his own. I really rate this film and found the Prison Commander a powerful presence in the guise of the bad guy role (Eli Wallach in the first film is brilliant). I found it to be brutal how the tortures are dealt out (for the time and considering the franchise to be family-ish orientated) but this makes it more enjoyable and believable!!

'... Ride' is a dificult one. Lee Van Cleef plays an aged Chris who has settled down and turned his hand to law enforcement until trouble rears its ugly head. Another one to watch on a rainy afternoon.

What would have been interesting would have been to get George Kennedy to reprise his role as Chris...

I guess the trick is to watch them as seperate films and not judge them on the quite brilliant original. Hard I know, but I found it more acceptable to enjoy them in this frame of mind.

Probably not ideal for the fairweather but those who really enjoy their westerns this is well worth a purchase. One thing is for sure if you do buy; you'll be whistling Elmer Bernstein's music score day and night for the next month!!

John Wayne: The Signature Collection [DVD]
John Wayne: The Signature Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Wayne
Offered by ahughes008
Price: £24.98

55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Royal performance from 'The Duke', 12 Dec 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The John Wayne Signature collection was an impulse buy for myself, and it turned out to be an inspired purchase!! We all know JW isn't the greatest actor that ever was but he does know what he's good at and these films prove it.

Each DVD comes in its own box,'The Searchers' and 'Rio Bravo' are two disc sets, crammed with interesting extras. Infact each DVD has two or three extras attatched to it, which doesn't always happen.

All five films have stunning scenery, shoot outs and some great one liners packed in. My personnal fave is 'Rio Bravo' but they couldn't have chosen five better westerns from 'The Dukes' amazingly large catalogue. Its interesting to see him develop as he ages throughout the films and how he changes his screen persona to suit this.

If you have a John Wayne fan in your family or friends then this would be a fantastic gift. If like me, you enjoy a western or five(!!), buy this as you wont be dissappointed.

Here are the 5 films...
'The Searchers' 2 disc edition
'Rio Bravo' 2 disc edition
'The Cowboys'
'Cahill: United States Marshall'

Ice Cold In Alex [DVD]
Ice Cold In Alex [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Mills
Price: £8.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant film classic, 9 Dec 2008
This review is from: Ice Cold In Alex [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not going to disagree with anyone who gives this film 5 stars. ICIA is damn near perfection as films go. It takes us on a journey, through the desert, with 3 army personnel and 1 nurse who are trying to make their way to the safety of the British lines.

As we know, Anthony Quayle's character; posing as a South African Corp, isn't quite what he seems, carrying his back pack with him at all times!! Add in Mills' alcohol problem, Germans on their tail and the desert itself, it seems they have little or no chance of making their objective.

As the film comes to a griping conclusion and the infamous bar scene, I find myself licking my lips as the beer gets poured into those frosty glasses, wanting to reach in and grab a glass and quench my own thirst having watched them struggling to get the jeep over the sand dunes!

Special mention to Harry Andrews who turns in a great supporting role. A 5 star film, with a 5 star cast.

Forever More
Forever More
Price: £26.98

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars just like their name sake, 1 Dec 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Forever More (Audio CD)
Tesla are a quality, hard and heavy rock band who keep on producing quality records (except 'Bust a Nut'). This is no exception. Just like their name sake they remain soooo underrated. Why they haven't sold more records is a complete mystery.

For those fans who know what this band do, buy this album now! When they rock its full on, when they slow it down its spot on. Each song has the Tesla stamp on it and boy does it leave its mark on you! That's probably down to Jeff Keith's vocals, as gritty and emotional as ever.

Stand out tracks are 'Forever More', 'I Wanna Live', 'Fallin Apart', 'Breakin Free'. The other tracks are bloody good too! I'm so glad these guys continue to make new records with the promise of more to come.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2-Disc Special Edition) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Harrison Ford
Offered by DVDBayFBA
Price: £2.73

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ronseal, 1 Dec 2008
Indy 4, 18 years or so in the making and was it worth it? Of course it was!! Indy is back. This film does exactly what it says on the box; it gives you an Indiana Jones movie with Russians instead of Germans. Now this aint perfect, no its not, but its still a mile better than most movies of this style.

I have recently re-watched the film on DVD and found myself enthralled right upto the end- well, before the aliens phone home!! Indy 4 is a superb movie that has allowed for the time difference between films and obvious ageing of its cast by letting Indy be more wiser.

Harrison Ford at 64 puts in a superb performance and gets thru a fair amount of stunt work too!! He doesn't hide the fact he's older when Ray Winstone tells him 'This isn't going to be easy' when the Russians have them bundled out of the boot of a car by gunpoint- 'Not as easy as it used to be' he replies.

I thought the story was well written, using the cold-war era and the Russians to good effect. The introduction of Shia LaBeouf a nice touch, as Henry Jones jnr now became the father figure, literally!

I liked the way the film referred back into the past with a shot of the Ark in the warehouse scene or Indy calling Mutt 'Junior'. I also got the feeling that Indy had been a busy and brave man for his country with refrences to his courage in the field for the CIA during WW II. You had a sense that much had happened to Dr. Jones.

What made me laugh was, with all this sense that a lot has happened in the 18 years since, as soon as Marion Ravenwood appeared the two of them got into it as if they were still on the set of 'Raiders...'.

I myself didn't buy the ending, it was the weak point of the film. That maybe because of the alien connection but it didn't detract from the output as a whole because the alien theme wasn't overpowering until the finale.

I was impressed with the film at the cinema. As with most Indy fans I feared the worst but was very satisfied (and relieved) that it wasn't an embarrassment. I would hope Indy 5 will be made (a 5 film contract was set up when Raiders was made) as Harrison still has it in him.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 25, 2012 8:11 AM BST

Seraphim Falls [DVD]
Seraphim Falls [DVD]
Dvd ~ Liam Neeson
Offered by WorldCinema
Price: £3.66

3.0 out of 5 stars good, bad but not ugly!!, 1 Dec 2008
This review is from: Seraphim Falls [DVD] (DVD)
Mmm, reading some of the reviews here its hard to understand what some people want from a film. Let's get one thing straight; this film won't change your world but it does entertain. This is no 'Unforgiven' or 'Open Range' but it still has enough about it to make it watchable and enjoyable.

After watching it the first time my immediate thought was 'this is a rambo-western'!! Brosnan being hunted by Neeson through all sorts of terrain, which, may I add, is stunning scenery throughout. The backstory unfolds as the film goes on; showing us how Neeson's family are killed under Brosnan's command, for which he is wrecked with remorse- unbeknownst to Neeson.

Both actors give fine performances, Mr. Brosnan especially so (you kind of expect top quality from Liam Neeson every time). The movie is a slow burner, building up to a somewhat indifferent ending and that's my only gripe. For all the fine performances, beautiful locations and gripping chase sequences, the ending is not solid enough for me. Its probably dragged on to long aswell.

I've given this 3 stars because of the ending but up until then its worthy of 4. This is a GOOD film, with a BAD ending but it isn't UGLY.

Psychotic Supper
Psychotic Supper
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £7.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something missing, 28 Nov 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Psychotic Supper (Audio CD)
Like the other review I have to agree that this album falls inbetween the first two. 'Psychotic Supper' has a raw feel to it but that's not a bad thing.

I am a big Tesla fan and I like this album. Its one of those, the more you play it- the better it gets. It does help that the songs get better as the record goes on. If this were on vinyl, side 2 would outplay side 1.

The opener 'Change In The Weather' and 'Don't De-rock Me' (track 3) have never really done it for me, whereas 'Edison's Medicine' (track 2) is one of Tesla's finest. The pace of the first 'side' isn't right but from 'Government Personnel' onwards, they kick into gear.

'Freedom Slaves' is excellent; 'Had Enough' heavy riffing; 'What You Give' and 'Stir It Up' mellow and thoughtful; 'Can't Stop' back up a notch to finish with a typical Tesla ditty 'Toke About It'.

I admit, I pick and chose the songs I listen to off this album, unlike the first two which I just pop in and let them go!! This is a good album which Tesla fans will appreciate. There's 13 tracks on this record, 11 of them are excellent, the other two you'll either love em or fast forward em!!

Guns of the Magnificent Seven [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Guns of the Magnificent Seven [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ George Kennedy
Offered by passionFlix UK
Price: £37.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Chris, same old trouble!!, 23 Nov 2008
'Guns of...' is the third film of the Magnificent Seven series (there are 4 in total). Yul Bryner's Chris is replaced by George Kennedy, an actor more famed for his bad guy personna than good guy, leader of men.

If, like me, 'Return of...' was an acceptable follow up to the classic original, this film will whet your appetite once more. George Kennedy makes Chris his own. From the first moment you hear his voice at the imminent hanging, when he alone bellows 'Nooo' when asked if Keno should hang, to his curt exchanges with the Prison Commander, this is a man with grit and determination.

The story line is strong; Quintero leader of his Mexican people, is taken and held inside a prison, where several beatings are dealt out to gain the whereabouts of his fellow non comformists. Chris is hired to break him out, simple. Infighting amongst the Mexican's and the other 'seven' add to tensions before Chris leads the assault in an all or nothing break out finale.

One scene that sticks in my head is when Chris and Max ride inside the prison on the pretense that their horses need water, only to be shown how brutal the Prison Commander can be when dealing out his sick torture.

The supporting cast do a fine job in each of their specialist roles and Elmer Bernstein's score is played with gusto. All together this is a superb western that has a bit more edge to it and is defenitely worth purchasing.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 13, 2009 11:37 AM GMT

Wings Of Heaven: Live (2CD)
Wings Of Heaven: Live (2CD)
Price: £10.94

4.0 out of 5 stars magnum vintage, 22 Nov 2008
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Magnum came to the wider public's attention on the release of the studio album 'Wings Of Heaven' (do you remember them on TOTP?). When I first heard that the plan was to play the whole record live and release it I was mega chuffed. The boys from Birmingham don't disappoint.

CD1 is a mix of old and new tracks. I felt the opener was a tad lacklustre but 'Back Street Kid' and 'Kingdom of Madness' stand out for me. The band do sound really good, a lot tighter and the production is top class as with most 'live' albums these days. I do like the way how Magnum have made the 'older' material sound fresh, as they have been doing for some time now.

CD2 is the 'Wings of Heaven' album from start to finish, plus Sacred Hour. The whole record goes into overdrive!! Catley and Clarkin do get better with age!! 'Wild Swan' is amazing but 'Don't Wake The Lion' is mind blowing. I thought 'Must Have Been Love' and 'Different Worlds' would not translate as well on the live stage but I was wrong!! 'Pray For Day' nice and heavy :)

I saw Magnum when they toured 'WOH' originally and they were good then, they sound even better now!!

This is highly recommended for fans of melodic rock. A great purchase from one of Britain's unsung bands who deserved more. When you hear this album you'll understand why!!

Let me add one last thing... get a good set of headphones, lock all the doors and play 'Don't Wake The Lion'. In my book, one of the greatest songs written. Enjoy!!!

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